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Diane Rae Davis, PhD and Amber Cleverly, MSW - page 9 / 80





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4) Training of child welfare workers in the use of the MI model, with special emphasis on the Stages of Change model and how this impacts parents’ ability to recognize their substance abuse problems and take steps to alleviate them.

In closing, family reunification, child safety, and substance abuse treatment are historically difficult goals with parents who have substance abuse problems and are referred to child wel- fare for child maltreatment. The PTP was a small intervention in the midst of the maelstrom that generally accompanies this kind of referral. In spite of this, the program achieved success with stakeholders and participants, and was associated with modest success in reunification and child safety and comparable rates of treatment entry and retention as other demonstration projects. The final evaluation of this project indicates that the PTP model offers a beacon of hope for making progress in this difficult terrain.



Substance abuse treatment, particularly tailored to the needs of women and parents, is under-funded and insufficient to meet national needs. Parental substance abuse significantly increases the risk of maltreatment, yet substance abuse and child welfare systems have historically operated independently and with little cooperation. Long waiting periods for treatment, insufficient funding, and treatment models that are not designed to engage or retain parents overwhelmed with child welfare involvement and serious life problems, contribute to a low rate in reunification, treatment entry, and retention.

An assumption of the PTP for the three IDHW regions was that parents are more likely to enter treatment if supported and encouraged during the wait period for entry into treatment. In addition, parents who need substance abuse treatment and complete it are more likely to succeed in keeping their children at home, or in reuniting with them (if separated by CPS). A strong body of research suggests that using MI counseling strategies improves the rate of entry and retention in substance abuse treatment (Miller & Rollnick, 2002).

2. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The PTP was designed to maintain contact with parents during the waiting period for

treatment, help parents stay engaged through supportive individual and group meetings, and increase motivation for treatment entry. Eligible participants were parents who were referred to CPS and had potential substance abuse issues. Children of these parents had to be at home or recently placed in out-of-home care.

Idaho Pre-Treatment Program


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